Malcolm OngProduct & Tech Executive; Co-founder @ Skillshare

Co-founder @ Skillshare. Fmr. SVP Product / Eng / Design @ SCMP (Alibaba), Product & Growth @ Lyft, EIR & VP @ 500 Global, Product @ OMGPOP (Zynga)

Recent Answers

Not sure I understand the question fully, so perhaps let me try to answer this more generally. Generally speaking, err on whatever approach minimizes friction for your users (both buyers and sellers).

If you have a two-sided marketplace where a seller lists something (e.g. a commercial space available) for buyers (i.e. your clients), I think it's best to have this communication happen on the marketplace platform itself.

From a feature perspective, this might mean the buyers and sellers have message inboxes, as well as email notifications that notify them whenever a message (or reply) is received. You can even make things easier by inserting excerpts or full messages within the email notifications (and allow an easy reply-to-email for responses), but the entire conversation thread should still live on your platform's inbox.

Hope that makes sense and helps!

It depends on what type of software you need and also depends on budget, but generally speaking, you can start with looking for freelance engineers to help.

Here are some sites to check out:, Toptal,

I would not go with a "clone in a box" solution, but I definitely would use ready-to-use services that are out there to build what you need while allowing some level of customization.

For example, you can use tools like Wordpress (CMS), or Shopify (e-commerce), or other similar tools to build your marketplace, depending on your needs. This will allow you to get your idea up-and-running quickly with little upfront investment.

After you've proven that your business idea works, then - and only then - you can go back and invest in creating a more custom solution.

I've managed teams of all sizes, both in-house and offshore; I know that there's both a science and an art when it comes to motivating your team.

Generally speaking, for any team member (offshore or otherwise), it's always good to rally your team around a common mission and goal. If your team believes in what you're trying to accomplish, then they would naturally put in more effort into their work.

In addition to that, it's always good to make sure that people are working on aspects of the project that are interesting to them, giving them enough ownership or autonomy to voice their own opinions, and celebrating small wins and milestones.

Happy to discuss more if you'd like to schedule a call.

I've raised VC capital, including seed rounds, myself as well as for other companies. Happy to answer any specific questions you may have about it, including both the science and the art behind fundraising.

I think one skill that every entrepreneur should learn is how to be resourceful and get things done. Even if you don't have many resources, it's possible to start prototyping and creating your first versions of a product. The barrier of entry to most businesses and industries are extremely low these days.

Try to leverage as many open source or off-the-shelf services to get started. Many of these are free or low-cost for smaller scale products.

You can also try to recruit and find others who believe in your mission and goals; many times, this can be done for equity (without cash).

The best way to learn how to become an entrepreneur is, of course, to just start. When you're forcing yourself to learn everything that's necessary to get a business idea up-and-running, you will learn different parts of both your specific business as well as entrepreneurship in general.

Aside from that, you can also work with other entrepreneurs. I find that roles that allow you to wear many hats, and work directly with founders and/or CEO's are best because it exposes you to as many parts of entrepreneurship as possible, and challenges you in many different ways quickly.

Now, for later-stage companies, a "different" type of entrepreneur is necessary. For this, I would try to work at later-stage startups (on the leadership team if you can) to learn the ropes on how things are done at scale and with a large organization.

I would consider convertible equity (not debt) for smaller / Seed rounds. They're generally simple and efficient.

If you decide on convertible, I would use something like 500 Startups' KISS docs:

See more info here:

I am one of the co-founders of Skillshare, which is in this business (though not for finance and trading areas).

Your question is a bit vague, so it depends on a lot of specifics. How are these classes "delivered"? Who are your target customers? Are you looking to be more of a content provider, or a platform, or..?

Depending on the specifics, you could either start your own site, and host your courses there.. or simply distribute and syndicate your content elsewhere.

Happy to help if I can if you want to schedule a call.

Without knowing specific metrics, I would guess: Draw Something, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Farmville, and many more

Contact on Clarity

$ 5.00/ min

4.95 Rating
Schedule a Call

Send Message






Access Startup Experts

Connect with over 20,000 Startup Experts to answer your questions.

Learn More

Copyright © 2024 LLC. All rights reserved.